COVID-19 OUTPATIENT THERAPEUTICS
COVID-19 treatments are available in various forms, including IV infusion and oral antiviral medications. These medications, when given early in illness, can help reduce the risk of hospitalization and worsening COVID-19 symptoms while helping a patient recover faster. Tampa General Hospital was the first hospital in Florida to offer treatment, specifically monoclonal antibody therapy, to COVID-19 patients. The first monoclonal antibody treatments were administered in our Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI) outpatient clinic under an emergency use authorization (EUA).
Who Can Receive COVID-19 Treatment?
COVID-19 treatment through the TGH GEDI infusion center requires a referral. Available medications may have different recommendations for when they are best used in the timeline of COVID-19 illness; however, all medications should be started as soon as possible after symptom onset. Additionally, patients who may benefit most from available treatments may have one or more risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease, including (but not limited to):
- Cardiovascular disease
- Severe kidney disease
- History of solid organ transplantation
What COVID-19 Therapies Are Available?
Available medications to treat include oral antivirals, such as nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid®) and molnupiravir (LagevrioTM), and intravenous (IV) remdesivir. Monoclonal antibody products, such as REGEN-COV® (casirivimab/imdevimab), sotrovimab, and bebtelovimab, will be utilized when available and authorized to treat COVID-19 based on susceptibility to currently circulating variants.
How Is Treatment Administered?
At TGH, we offer COVID-19 treatments depending on availability & local circulating variants.
For monoclonal antibody therapies and IV remdesivir, the infusion(s) take about an hour and then patients may require observation for an hour. As long as you are not experiencing any adverse effects, you’ll be able to go home afterwards.
For those who might not qualify for the monoclonal antibody infusion, Tampa General offers oral treatments, such as Paxlovid® as another potential option. The supply of this outpatient treatment is dependent on drug availability at the time of the patients’ appointment.
What to Expect
There are certain side effects to be aware of when undergoing treatment. For example, you may experience bleeding, bruising, soreness, swelling or infection at the infusion site if you receive an intravenous (IV) medication (monoclonal antibody or remdesivir). With oral medications, you may experience nausea, diarrhea, or GI upset.
Once a referral is submitted, based on the patient's risk profile for progression to severe disease and our availability to treat within the therapy's approved time window, the patient will be contacted to schedule an appointment within 48 hours. Because there are patients who will not qualify for available treatments, patients who do not meet criteria or cannot be scheduled within the approved time window will not be contacted.
In clinical studies, COVID-19 therapies have shown a positive impact on various markers. Monoclonal antibody infusions have shown to reduce hospitalizations and severe illness in patients with COVID-19. IV remdesivir has a primary role for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. A study did demonstrate the ability for remdesivir, when given daily for 3 consecutive days, to decrease the risk for hospitalization in patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19. Oral antivirals to treat COVID-19 have also shown to decrease the risk for hospitalization in high risk patients, while others have shown to decrease a patient’s time to recovery.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Please arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment. The outpatient infusion clinic is located on the main campus of Tampa General Hospital in the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI).
Address: 6 Tampa General Cir, Tampa, FL 33606
Directions: As soon as you come across the bridge to Davis Islands, keep left. As you cross the bridge, continue left to the Harborside Pavilion roundabout and keep right at the roundabout. Take the first left immediately after the roundabout facing the water. Follow signs to the GEDI Infusion Clinic. Parking is available in valet spots at the front of the building or in the adjacent garage.
If you have questions, please email the GEDI clinic.